No matter how many people sign a petition urging Bert and Ernie to come out of the closet and get married, PBS says the characters "are best friends" and nothing more.
And fans might be surprised to learn that "even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."
The statement was posted by PBS on Facebook in response to a petition posted on Change.org. Proponents made the case that if the beloved Muppets were to come out, it “would show children and their parents that not only is it acceptable but also teach children that homophobia is wrong, bullying is wrong and that Sesame Street should recognize that there are LGBT relationships, families, and include them in their show.”
But that's not how PBS sees its purpose.
"Bert and Ernie are best friends," the network said in its statement. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves."